Jane Burke-Robertson Award of Excellence in Charity and Not-for-Profit Law

Call for nominations

Starting in 2015, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Charities & Not-for-Profit Law Section will be awarding the CBA Jane Burke-Robertson Award of Excellence in Charity and Not-For-Profit Law every two years at the Section’s National Charity Law Symposium.

Eligibility and Criteria

Each candidate must be a member of the Canadian Bar Association and:

  • be called to the Bar in Canada for at least 10 years, either in practice (full-time or part-time) or academia;
  • have made a significant contribution to the legal profession in the area of charity and not-for-profit law through writing, speaking, volunteering and/or pro-bono work;
  • have an excellent reputation in the practice of law or academia; and
  • have demonstrated leadership and service in the charity and not-for-profit law sector.


The award will consist of a plaque as well as a complimentary registration to the CBA Charity Law Symposium.  The winning nominee will be recognized in the Section’s newsletter and on the Section’s webpage.  

Nomination Deadline

Please send your nomination, together with curriculum vitae of the candidate and a detailed letter of recommendation and any other letters of support by March 31 to:

CBA Charities & Not-for-Proft Law Section 
The Canadian Bar Association
66 Slater St., Suite 1200, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5H1
Tel. (613) 237-2925 / 1-800-267-8860
Email: CBACharities@cba.org 

About the Award

This award was established by the Section in 2014 to recognize, honour and celebrate a lawyer who has made an exceptional contribution and/or achievement in the development of charity and not-for-profit law in Canada. The award is named in memory of the late Jane Burke-Robertson in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the CBA and her many contributions to the specialty of charity and not-for-profit law in Canada.

Jane made a significant contribution to the profession of law. She was a founding co-chair of the Ontario Bar Association Charity & Not-for-Profit Law Section in 1994 and the first chair of the Canadian Bar Association Charities & Not-for-Profit Law Section in 2000. Jane was also a founding co-chair of the Annual CBA Charity Law Symposium in 2000. Jane was instrumental in initiating and co-teaching the first law school course in Canada in charity and not-for-profit law at the University of Ottawa Law School in 2005.

Jane was a nationally recognized expert in the area of charity and not-for-profit law. During her 27 year legal career, Jane was a frequent speaker and lecturer on charitable and not-for-profit matters and had written extensively in this subject area. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the OBA John Hodgson Award in 2011 in recognition of her leadership in the development of the law and her service in the charitable arena. Her expertise was recognized by colleagues as shown by repeated inclusions in both Lexpertand Best Lawyers in Canada. She was awarded the Best Lawyers in Canada 2013 Lawyer of the Year Award for Ottawa for Trusts and Estates. Jane was the co-author of Non-Share Capital Corporations in 1993 and a new book, Corporate and Practice Manual for Charities and Not-for-Profit Corporations, published posthumously in December, 2013. She was dedicated to the profession she served in such an extraordinary way.

Jane was also a remarkable and tireless volunteer. She was a leader in providing pro bono legal services to struggling charities. Jane was a great example to practitioners about the importance of giving back to one’s community without expectation of gain or recognition. She was a mentor to many young lawyers, giving freely of her time and experience to guide them in a developing area of the law, and more seasoned lawyers benefited from her sage advice which was freely and generously provided. Jane was a consummate professional and a kind and generous mentor and friend.

Award Winners

  • 2023 – Margaret H. Mason, K.C.
  • 2021 – Susan Manwaring
  • 2019 – Terrance S. Carter 
  • 2017 – W. Laird Hunter, K.C
  • 2015 – Arthur Drache, C.M., K.C